Monday, 28 September 2009

Martinez guides Wigan to win over Chelsea

There was a big shock in the Premier League this weekend, as Wigan Athletic defied the odds, and stopped Chelsea in their tracks as Roberto Martinez's men beat the Londoners 3-1 at the DW Stadium.

Chelsea had won their previous 6 games, but goals from Titus Bramble, Rodellega, and Paul Scharner were the heroes as they took advantage of Petr Cech's sending off, this after Didier Drogba had levelled for Chelsea.

Man Utd take over at the top of the table after their hard earned victory at Stoke, where Dimitar Berbatov & John O'Shea scored the vital goals to send United to the summit of the Premier League on goal difference.

Fernando Torres hit a hat trick as Liverpool demolished Hull 6-1 at Anfield, Torres put the Reds 1-0 up early on, but Geovanni levelled things up for Hull soon after. It wasn't long before Torres restored their lead, and scored his, and Liverpool's third just after half time. Steven Gerrard looped in a fourth on the hour, before 2 late goals from Marcus Babbel sealed the points.

Robbie Keane was the hero for Tottenham as he smashed in four goals in their 5-0 win over Burnley at White Hart Lane, to lift Spurs up to 4th, Jermaine Jenas was the other scorer in the game.

Arsenal are up to fifth after a sole Robin van Persie goal clinched a 1-0 victory over Fulham at the Craven Cottage.

Aston Villa drop to seventh as they went from 1-0 up to losing 2-1 at Blackburn Rovers. Gabi Agbonlahor had put Villa one up after just 3 minutes, but Samba equalized for Rovers, before a second half penalty from David Dunn clinched the points for Sam Allardyce's men.

Kenwyn Jones scored twice yesterday as Sunderland got back to winning ways with a 5-2 win over Wolves at the Stadium of Light. Darren Bent had put the Black Cats one up from the spot early on, Jones then added a penalty 3 minutes into the second half, before Wolves mounted a fightback, and levelled things up thanks to an own goal from Mensah, and Kevin Doyle equalized.
Jones, Michael Turner, and an own goal from Mancienne completed the scoring for Sunderland.

Despite a poor start to the season, Everton are up to 9th, having inflicted Portsmouth's sevent straight Premier League defeat, which is the worst start made by a top flight team in the last 89 years, Louis Saha was the man to set that stat up following his first half strike.

The other game in the Premier League saw Bolton win at Birmingham, Cohen put the Wanderers 1-0 up after just 10 minutes, but marksman Kevin Phillips got what he thought was a matchsaving equalizer just 6 minutes from time for Birmigham, but just two minutes later Lee scored the winner for revived Bolton.

The final match of the weekend took place on Monday night, where Manchester City defeated West Ham 3-1 at Eastlands, and wasn't it obvious that Carlos Tevez would get in on the act to put a dent into the Hammers survival hopes!

That's it for this week's update, another preview on the way on Friday!

Friday, 25 September 2009

Beat the Bookie

The games for this one are pretty low value so it's a case of being inventive!

The tip for this week is:

Everton to beat Portsmouth 5/6
Birmingham to draw with Hull 9/4
Aston Villa to win at Blackburn 13/10

Combined odds : 13/1

Worth a fiver!!!

Premier League Preview

Time once again for another preview of the games to come this weekend in the Premier League, and following the last two weeks where the top four have played each other, they have what seems relatively easier matches this coming weekend.

The first kick off of the day is the lunchtime kick off at Fratton Park, where Everton go in search of a win at pointless Portsmouth, who only just managed their first win of the season in the Carling Cup the other night, whereas Everton will be in confident mood after their 3-0 win over Blackburn last weekend.

Onto the 3pm kick offs, and Chelsea will look to make it 7 out of 7, as they travel up to the DW Stadium to face Wigan Athletic who are only two points above the drop zone.

Man Utd will hope to take advantage of any slip up by the leaders, as they face Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium, in what could be a potentially awkard game, it certainly was last season, as they waited until 6 minutes before the end for their winner, but will also be in confident mood having won the Manchester derby in injury time last Sunday.

Liverpool have what looks to be a home banker, as they take on Hull at Anfield, with the reds in confident mood following their win at West Ham last weekend.

Aston Villa will be looking to extend their fine run, as they make their way to Ewood Park to face a Blackburn side that sits in the bottom three at present.

Tottenham meanwhile will look to build on their 5-1 midweek demolition of Preston in the Carling Cup in their match at White Hart Lane with Burnley, the two had a belter of a game in the Cup last season at Turf Moor, with the Clarets narrowly missing out thanks to a last minute goal in extra time for Spurs.

Arsenal don't have far to travel for their game, as they take on Fulham at the Craven Cottage, looking to move up the table from what is a low 7th position right now, and will hope for a similar scoreline to the 4-0 win over Wigan last weekend whereas Fulham will need to be at full strength as they bid to recover from last weekend's defeat at Wolves.

The other game on Saturday, sees Birmingham host Bolton at St Andrews, as Bolton look for their make it 3 games unbeaten following the late draw against Stoke last week, whilst Birmingham will be in good shape after their 1-0 win at Hull.

On Sunday, Sunderland take on Wolves at the Stadium of Light, with the Black Cats currently occupying a healthy 8th position, but slipped in the defeat to Burnlet last week, whilst the Wanderers are not far behind in 12th fresh from that win over Fulham.

Then finally on Monday, Man City will hope to return to winning ways, as they host West Ham at Eastlands, who themselves will be desperate to net points as they are only above the relegation positions on goal difference.

Not Premier League, but still essential, is the small matter of the Wrexham v Chester game on Sunday at noon, as the historic rivalry is brought back to the fore, and Chester are desperate for points having been deducted 25 of the blighters at the start of the season. Can they achieve the impossible and pull off a major win?

Friday, 18 September 2009

Beat the Bookie!

Okay, here we go with the new feature, as we try to see what bets are up for grabs this weekend.

Looking at the derby games taking place on Sunday, if you think both will draw, the odds will around 15/1, whereas a tenner on both Man Utd & Chelsea to win will net you around £25 if it comes in, if you are brave and fancy Tottenham & Man City, then that £10 would win you £385 with Labrokes!

The treble of the weekend is as follows:

Arsenal to beat Wigan
Liverpool to win at West Ham
Hull & Birmingham to draw

Combined odds of 6/1 on that one.

Best value bets are probably Everton to beat Blackburn on Sunday (currently 4/5), and Man City to upset Old Trafford with a win in the Manchester derby (City currently 9/2).

Good luck all!!

It's Derby weekend in Manchester & London!

A big weekend in prospect as the top four play against each other, in two derbies over the course of the weekend, firstly Chelsea, who are sitting top of the Premier League are at home to Tottenham, where most neutrals will be hoping the Spurs claim the points.

It will be another tough test for Harry Redknapp's men, who suffered defeat at home to other title rivals Man Utd last Saturday, and this time will be hoping for a positive result at Stamford Bridge.

The other derby takes place prior to the above game on Sunday afternoon, as Man Utd and Man City lock horns, the big talking point will be the omission of Emmanuel Adebayor, who has been banned for 3 games following his disgusting challenge on Robin van Persie in last weekend's controversial win over Arsenal.

Carlos Tevez has declared his wish to play against his former employees, and Adebayor's exclusion may force Mark Hughes to play the Argentinian.

United meanwhile will be looking to close the gap further on Chelsea, and could in fact overtake them if Chelsea lose at home to Spurs following a United win.

Elsewhere over the weekend, at teatime tomorrow Liverpool will be looking to continue their good run at West Ham, who will be aiming to improve on their poor tally of 4 points so far. Mexican striker Guillermo Franco could make his debut for the Hammers following his free transfer from Villareal.

Aston Villa have the chance to break into the top four once again, and they entertain Portsmouth, who are still searchinbg for their first points of the season, Villa will go into the game full of confidence having beaten rivals Birmingham in their own back yard last weekend.

Sunderland are enjoying a fine start to the season, and Darren Bent has had a great start too, and the Black Cats have the chance to move forward again as they travel to Burnley, who have started okay themselves too, currently in mid table, although suffered a heavy defeat at Liverpool last Saturday. That match is the lunchtime kick off on Saturday.

Stoke are also in a promising position, and will be in for a close encounter at the Reebok as they face Bolton, who won the basement battle at Portsmouth last week.

Arsenal, who made a terrific comeback in the Champions League in midweek, will be hoping that kind of spirit is in evidence again in their home game against Roberto Martinez's Wigan Athletic, I still find it hard to believe Martinez was the Chester City captain a few years ago!

The final game tomorrow sees two sides hoping to turn their seasons around, as Hull meet Birmingham at the KC Communications Stadium.

On Sunday, as well as the big derby games, Wolves entertain Fulham, who managed a draw in the Europa Cup last night, whilst Everton are in action against Blackburn at Goodison Park as they aim to follow up last night's 4-0 victory over AEK Athens in the Europa Cup also. Lucas Neill should make his debut for the Toffees, ironically against his former employers.

So, a crunch weekend yet again for the top 4 teams in the Premier League, should be another exciting one to watch!

Monday, 14 September 2009

Adebayor leaves his mark in Arsenal match

What a silly boy!

That's all you can say about Emmanuel Adebayor, after his contribution against his former employees for Manchester City, as they destroyed Arsenal 4-2 at Eastlands.

Adebayor was firstly involved in a terrible challenge on Robin van Persie, as he raked his boot down van Persie's face in an incident unseen by the referee. Adebayor then took advantage of a cross from Shaun Wright Phillips and headed home before setting off on a celebratory run down the touchline all the way to the other end of the pitch to celebrate in front of the Arsenal fans.

The fans who used to adore him were busting a gut to get onto the pitch, and had it not been for the stewards, this could have turned very nasty indeed.

Adebayor has since apologized but will surely face a charge for one, if not both of the incidents that he was involved in.

The match itself was a strange one, City went ahead through Micah Richards, although his header came off the post and rebounded back into the net via Almunia's head, so that will go down as an own goal.

Arsenal then levelled thanks to Van Persie's effort from the edge of the box, before Craig Bellamy put City back in front with just 15 minutes to go, Adebayor's controversial moment followed to make it 3-1, before Wright-Phillips made it 4-1 with just 6 minutes left on the clock. Tomas Rosicky then converted a simple chance on his return to complete the scoring.

Chelsea lead the way at the top as they kept their 100% record going thanks to a last minute win at Stoke, the Potters had taken the lead through Abdou Faye in the first half, however Didier Drogba hit back late on in the same half. It was in the final minute of injury time that Florent Malouda scored the winner to nick the points.

Man Utd are in second place after a barnstorming comeback against Tottenham, who had taken the lead in the first minute thanks to Jermaine Defoe's spectacular overhead kick, but United levelled through a Ryan Giggs free kick, remember he used to do that long before David Beckham & Christiano Ronaldo came along!!

Anderson scored his first competitive goal for United before half time, and Wayne Rooney finished things off in the second half to keep United within 3 points of Chelsea. Paul Scholes was sent off for a second yellow and will now miss one game for the Reds.

Aston Villa are up to 5th place as they took the honours in the Brummie battle, after their 1-0 victory at Birmingham, thanks to Gabi Agbonlahor's late goal.

Liverpool move into 6th, after their Yossi Benayoun inspired 4-0 victory over Burnley at Anfield, where the Israeli scored a hat trick, with the other goal coming from Dirk Kuyt.

Sunderland are in a healthy position in 7th, after they despatched Hull 4-1 at the Stadium of Light, Darren Bent grabbing a brace, with Andy Reid smashing in a long range effort, and Michael Turner - making his debut after signing from Hull - headed in the fourth and final goal. Kamill Zayatte had initially levelled for Hull.

Elsewhere over the weekend, Fulham got their first win of the season after beating Everton at the Craven Cottage yesterday, and they came from behind to do it, as Tim Cahill gave Everton a half time lead, before goals from Paul Konchesky & Damien Duff ensured the points went to the Londoners, whilst Everton remain second bottom.

Bottom of the pile are Portsmouth, who have lost all 5 games so far, they had a bit of a ding dong battle with Bolton though, who were pegged back twice before finally scoring the winner. Tamir Cohen smashed home the first goal for Wanderers, before Younes Kaboul headed home the equalizer. Former Pompey player Matt Taylor then scored from the spot to restore Bolton's lead, but then early into the second half Kevin Prince-Boateng levelled things up on his debut, before a goal two minutes from time from Gary Cahill secured the points for Gary Megson's men.

Blackburn beat Wolves at Ewood Park, thanks to goals from El-Hadji Diouf, Jason Roberts, and David Dunn, whilst debutant Stefan Maierhofer pulled one back for Wolves.

Wigan returned to winning ways after their 1-0 home win over West Ham, Hugo Rodellega scoring the all important winner for the Latics.

So, an all action weekend then, with plenty of controversy, we'll see what happens this week with the Emmanuel Adebayor situation, but my guess is he'll get some kind of ban from the FA.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Rafa should not be sacked according to vote

In a recent poll on this site, you voted marginally in favour of Rafa Benitez to be given more time as 60% of you decided that Benitez was the man for the Liverpool job still, whilst 40% of you reckoned Rafa should get the bullet.

I guess recent results turned the vote round as at one stage it looked like he could be on his way out, but time will tell.

Another poll on the way very soon!

Premier league returns following break

Following England's glorious night on Wednesday, it's back to Premier League matters, and a cracking line up of games this weekend as the top 6 meet each other, and includes the battle at the top where Tottenham play Man Utd in the evening game at White Hart Lane.

United will be keen to step up their title defence, whilst Spurs will be aiming to stay on the top of the table. Rio Ferdinand come make his return to the United side, but could be without Jonny Evans and John O'Shea following injuries.

They do share that position with Chelsea of course, and they have what could prove to be an awkward game at Stoke tomorrow afternoon, with the Potters sitting in 5th place in the table. Former Chester defender Danny Collins could make his debut for Stoke following his move from Sunderland in the Transfer Window.

Another big game is at Eastlands, where Man City take on Arsenal, both sides have done well so far this season, but the Gunners will be hoping to improve on their last result in Manchester, where they lost to United at Old Trafford. Emmanuel Adebayor is in for an interesting afternoon as he comes up against his former employees.

Elsewhere, Liverpool will be hopping they can bag a win at home to Burnley, whilst the bottom two face off at Fratton Park, as Portsmouth play Bolton. Striker Danny Webber could make his debut following his move from Sheffield United, whilst Bolton could hand a debut to Croatian striker Ivan Klasnic.

In the North East, Sunderland play host to Hull, where Michael Turner could be in line to make his debut as he lines up against the side he left for the Black Cats, whilst Paul McShane could do the same for Hull following his recent transfer from Sunderland.

West Ham make the trip to Wigan hoping to break in to the top ten, but Roberto Martinez will be desperate for a win as they sit just one place above the bottom three.

Blackburn take on Wolves at Ewood Park looking for their first win, and Pascal Chimbonda could make his debut for Rovers in this one following his move from Tottenham.

On Sunday, it's the Brummie Battle as Aston Villa make the short trip over to Birmingham, with City likely to hand a debut to Finnish midfielder Teemu Tainio, whilst Everton travel to Fulham on Sunday evening, where The Cottagers could see Swedish striker David Elm could feature, and Johnny Heitinga could make his bow for the Toffees following the Dutch defenders move from Athletico Madrid.

Beat the Bookie

The Premier League Bet of the Weekend:

Chelsea to win 2/5
Liverpool to win 1/6
Tottenham to draw 12/5
Man City to draw 9/4

Combined odds: 18/1

Put a fiver on get £90 back!

Which one will let that bet down this week???

Friday, 4 September 2009

League takes break for International week

Yes, the premier league takes a break tomorrow for a few days as the internationals and World Cup Qualifiers roll into town.

England play a friendly against Slovenia as they build up to their important World Cup qualifier next week against Croatia, which could seal their place at South Africa 2010.

Scotland need to beat Macedonia to keep their slim chances of making the finals alive, at Hampden Park tomorrow, then must beat Holland in midweek in what seems a tall ask.

Northern Ireland go in the hunt for victory, in what will be a difficult game in Poland, whilst the Republic of Ireland will surely get themselves a win in Cyprus to increase their chances of qualification.

Beat the Bookie

Well this week, international bets are the order of the day, here's the first:

England 1/6
Republic of Ireland 10/11
Scotland 8/11
Poland 4/7

Combined odds of 5/1, so stick a fiver on those, and get £30 back in your hand. Scotland look the biggest doubt amongst those, but remember they are needing a win.

If you like taking risks, then look at this one:

France to beat Romania 2/5
Czech Republic to win in Slovakia 5/4
Sweden to win in Hungary 13/10
Portugal to win in Denmark 5/4

Combined odds of 19/1, so for a fiver, you'd get back £99.62

Are you brave enough to take it on?

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Tottenham & Chelsea still lead the way

Tottenham & Chelsea maintainted their 100% records to the start of the season, and lead the table on 12 points.

Tottenham left it late, but Aaron Lennon's 95th minuite winner was enough to keep them on top of the table. Peter Crouch had given Spurs the lead having come on as a substitute, but Lee Bowyer levelled for Birmingham with just 15 minutes to go.

Chelsea meanwhile had no such problems, dismantling Burnley with a 3-0 scoreline. Nicolas Anelka, Michael Ballack, and Ashley Cole the scorers for Chelsea who sit alongside Tottenham at the top.

Man Utd came from behind to defeat Arsenal 2-1 at Old Trafford, as Andre Arshavin netted from 25 yards with a blockbuster of a shot to put the Gunners ahead towards the end of the first half, but the other side of half time, Wayne Rooney scored from the spot, before Abu Diaby headed into his own goal to gift United the win.

Man City are in the top 4 thanks to their 1-0 away win at Portsmouth, Emmanuel Adebayor scoring his third of the season as City continued their impressive start to the campaign.

Dave Kitson scored for Stoke as they moved into 5th place following their win over Steve Bruce's Sunderland, whilst Liverpool bounced back to winning ways following a topsy turvy game at Bolton. Liverpool were behind twice as Bolton led through Kevin Davies & Tamir Cohen, but goals from Glen Johnson, Fernando Torres, and Steven Gerrard swung it for the Reds.

Elsewhere, Aston Villa saw off Fulham at Villa Park which included an own goal from John Pantsil, and a cracker from Gabriel Agbonlahor, whilst Everton defeated Wigan in controversial fashion, when Leighton Baines scored a last minute penalty. This being after Paul Scharner had given Wigan the lead, but Louis Saha levelled for the Toffees.

Wolves & Hull drew 1-1 at Molineux, with Geovanni putting City ahead but Wolves bounced back through Stearman.

The other game in the Premier League ended in a goalless draw as Blackburn & West Ham took a point off each other.